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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 19, 2013 8:30pm-11:01pm EDT

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she lets us know she does not like it one bit. she founded crude and homely but true to her nature she made the best of it. as a young married women she wanted to be the mistress of her own home. she just thought that he should have built something is nice as as -- and her father had talked grant into building a log structured. julia would have brought with her the finer things because as a privileged child she would have had fine china or she would have had fine furniture that would have been, pulled chairs and a broad table because you had at this point she would have had five people living in this dining room. what is important about hardscrabble for them and even though they do not live in it for very long is that this represents their very first home together. julia would gain a great deal of confidence as a wife and mother and it starts at hardscrabble.
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now military historian victor davis hanson on his book "the savior generals" profiles of five military leaders he says saved wars that otherwise would have been lost. over the next hour, that he is interviewed by kimberly kagan founder and president of the institute for the study of war. >> host: first of all congratulations professor hanson on another great look, "the savior generals." >> guest: thank you for reading it. i'm glad i wrote it. a little different than past books but i'm excited it's finally done. >> host: tell me, how do you
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define a savior general? >> guest: you you know the words savior sort of ambiguous. they not only say things to say something that has to be lost to begin with and savior with the adjectival ending means it should these saved so great generals like modell or xerxes we are not sure they should've say the things they did so is trying to do two things. describe generals who are put put in a position where things didn't look too good and they didn't start the war and their cause was worth saving. >> host: tell me a little bit about what inspired you to write a book about savior general set this moment in time in history? >> guest: we have this 19th century genre of great captains of leaders and we read about alexander the great and hannibal and skippiel. napoleon and wellingtwellingt on marlboro and we are supposed to distill lessons from their military genius. why did them fully and when are
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we have the antitheses the anatomy a very 20 -- popular 20 century who were the worst generals but we don't look at situations in which generals prevailed but whether we look at strategy or logistics manpower technology comp that they were put in on an deal poll especially in consensual societies where public opinion and bureaucracy or the elected technocracy was given up on the war so to speak so i wanted to find people who should not have one and were not responsible for the situation they inherited and they salvaged it. maybe they didn't win but they saved it. >> host: i would love to go back and talk more about those great captains and those genres of history but first i would like to hear a little bit more about those you chose to write about. >> guest: that was hard to do because everybody asks me that
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question. curtis lemay's saved the b-29 campaign. george patton say the american army after the humiliation of north africa. i was looking particularly at situations that have chronological sweeps of things that happened all the way to david petraeus and the surge but also looking for things that were completely pessimistic. i think we could have won without patton and i think we could've won without lemay but i don't think take away chet and burned out athens the greeks would have fought at themistocles or without bella sarris the just indian wouldn't have covered much of byzantine byzantine -- the roman empire. i don't think there was a union general alive the could've taken atlanta at the cost that we took it, the small cost compared to what was going on in virginia. i don't know anyone who could've
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done what matthew ridgway did and i wish i could say they were american generals, not many that could've done what david petraeus did so looking at unique individuals throughout history to remind us that even the therapeutic sociological era of high-tech human qualities remained constant. >> host: few leaders in few historians would dispute that some of the people you select were indeed saviors of the countries and i think themistocles is a great example. undoubtedly the greek city states. but they might argue with some of your other choices such as ridgway. the original strategic outcomes in korea were not actually achieve. so how do you respond? >> guest: that would be criticism for all five of them. they are not winners.
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they say the situation for others to win art to lose. for lose. for example themistocles caused the greek that he was immediately forgotten and it was up to the spartans and at the height of his power belarus was put on trial and died a blind beggar. as you point out with ridgway he was only there a hundred days and he made a strategic choice choice not to go across the 38th parallel. he defended and a very strange way. he said the american people were with macarthur one of thing was going well. after incheon they have raced up the of violence and is the chinese cross we had the great dugout. then they turned on him and now they are behind me. if i backup to the north with the same which is tickled tactical situation that
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macarthur face and whether that was true or not i don't know, they are not willing to sustain this type of war. in retrospect when we look at the threat of north korea today we can question ridgway's judgment but he fell at the time the nation was not in the political frame of mind to support what would be needed to crush the north koreans and the chinese north of the 30 parallel missing thing is true with iraq. david petraeus saved the american cause in iraq but left it to others whether they were going to take that legacy that inheritance and leave a residual force and try to make sure it he came a consensual society and the way we have done in the 40s and 50's in places like korea or serbia. we chose not to do that at i don't think that necessarily tarnishes his achievement. >> host: i would love to go back to your discussion about ridgway making a judgment and calculation that is in fact
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strategic in its importance. not just an operational decision but something so momentous as this. one of the really important conundrum so the united states in a way of the democratic system is organized as a degree of civilian control over the military and a responsibility for civilian leaders to make such decisions. how do you evaluate ridgway's decision-making about something as sensitive as popular support and figuring that into the operational calculations? >> guest: ridgway would answer that and say i got aspects of 38th parallel. when i arrived 100 days earlier people wanted to evacuate and seoul was lost again. people had even upon the warrant public support was less than it was for sale rack in 2006.
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his way of thinking he allow the possible to happen. he got back to the 38th and got north of the 38th parallel. he gave his appraisal and waited for the civilian response and it was a collective decision of harry truman and the joint chiefs from omar bradley to lightning joe collins not to go beyond that. remember that ridgway with the relief of macarthur in april of 1951 became the theater commander in tokyo but we have at war for two more years at a stalemate and anybody at that time quite eisenhower included could have said you know what let's break the stalemate in go across the 38th but they didn't. ridgeway later as we reflected back said it's not fair to me to say at one point in time i should've crossed the 38th parallel and gone all the way to china when i just saved it for you guys. you were the civilian overseers and the next 24 months you
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decided not to do something that was against my advice. he took my device and later you're criticizing me for not doing what you said i should have done. so he honored the civilian relationship and made it clear and a number of essays that while he likes douglas macarthur personally and respected his military acumen that he was in error because he jeopardized that very valuable relationship and tension between civilian and military authority. >> host: i would like to hear a little bit more about that tension and that support between the leaders of the states that you discussed and the commanders at you discussed. is full support from the leadership of a country necessary to have a savior general?
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>> guest: it is and it's very controversial because these are generals who have come at the 11th hour with the policy of the state and usually the commander in chief president or amber whomever the political system has an charge is a referendum that something is gone wrong. if david petraeus takes control of the surge people would say why didn't we have the surge earlier? matthew ridgway is sent in late in the game when we are going to lose seoul for the third time. people say what was truman doing and the same, why did we have to take atlanta when rand should take richmond and in the war? they are a referendum failed policies and that makes them suspect he cuts if they do very well after he takes it land on september 2 people think he's almost a god. everybody hates grant and mary todd lincoln says grant is a butcher because he is basically destroyed the army in ungodly places like spotsylvania. chairman is the man apparently
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can a suspicious of them even though he saved link in the election of 1864. truman, rich way was on "time" magazine's cover so there's no need to mention david petraeus because as soon as he comes back out of iraq in late 2008 people are suggesting "the wall street journal" should get five stars and he is a presidential candidate in the presidential primaries. he still being mentioned even though he is unequivocally -- he has higher ratings than any other candidate so by definition they are political generals then they have to navigate the shoals between this skill of being independent and well people are going to resent you for being successful if i increase my stature to the point that people are talking about me as a savior in the political term. it's very tricky and they don't usually end up well. it's very hard to navigate that. >> host: talk about that tension in a slightly different
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political system of the later roman empire. >> guest: there were courts and assemblies in the byzantine empire. they didn't make them the absolute ruler and it wasn't a hereditary process either. he was a nephew of of the prior emperor but after his and that was it so the emperor was usually picked by consensus of nobles or aristocrats and then he had some limitations on his power. in the case studies he's the most authoritarian. his relationship with belisarius was very bizarre. they each had married controversial high-powered women. theodore in the case of -- and antonia in the case of belisarius. they were both let native speakers. they both had women who were at
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al repute and very powerful and as long as those things that dynamism was there then belisarius could get away with being the guy to save eastern front in the guy the governor of the vandals in a matter of weeks. the man who retook sicily and the man who was on his way up to the north in a tie importer. but once that formula started to break down antonia pulled away and theodora died. there was a tension and suddenly he became a threat to the emperor and he was recalled at the height of his powers in italy. he was put into exile internal exile for 10 years. he was brought up to say the capital. he was always a suspect. he was more popular and a magnanimous political figures in an age where people were not -- so he was highly popular among the constantinople streets. >> host: do you think this is actually the case that the
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savior generals will always perhaps the more popular than the elected or appointed? >> guest: absolutelabsolutel y. more popular for a moment. there was a key moment somewhere in 2008 where david petraeus i think the most popular man in the united states and surely more popular than his predecessors casey and general abizaid or generals sanchez and much more popular than george bush but that glory is fleeting because they are in an untenable situation where their success is an immediate unfavorable referendum that everybody before them, do they have certain personality qualities and ambitions and visions that make them suspect by their peers. sort of like this 19th century western figure that we see in 20th century films where it's high noon, ethan edwards, the magnificent seven, the man is
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shot liberty balance. we bring these people in and they are suspect figures and we all want shane to do something to get rid of the -- but it's better he walks out the door. it's better that high noon will kaine takes the bag and throws it down and says i've had enough. whether we like it or not it didn't end very well. themistocles committed suicide in persia. belisarius ended up as a beggar on the streets of constantinople humiliated at his emperor. sherman was called crazy and called a terrorist. he spent most of his post-war career trying to defend what it in a very effective way but he wasn't popular like grant or matthew ridgway. he was not made chairman of the joint chiefs. eisenhower wrote a memoir where he said ridgway did not take seoul south korea that vanvleet did.
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it was van fleet that took control in van fleet was even in the theater. he lived to be 97 but he got involved with a controversy under reagan. when i i finish the man is good some of the editors and i finished it right after the election, said david petraeus ended up just happy and everything went well. of course he had some problems so there does seem to be a profile that these people are controversial and after their signature achievement it's very hard to sustain that. the society is ambiguous. >> host: the signature achievement is obviously extremely interesting and challenging. hats you could tell us a little bit more about how it is or indeed what traits some of these exemplars had that made them
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able to go into a situation that needed saving and actually have the courage and imagination to do something? >> guest: of all of the ingredients that all the personality traits in the educational traits, all of that the one signature personalipersonali ty trait seems to me as they were immune to public opinion. in other words they were almost suspect of it. when everyone says athens is lost and we have to join the spartans and go across the isthmus and give up greece themistocles is distrustful of consensus and the same thing of belisarius or when they tell sherman lincoln is not going to win the election and whether you like it or not mcclellan will be the president you had better adjust to it. or when people tell ridgway it's time to settle things down and get everybody out. or when petraeus went to iraq.
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even the iraq study group said it was hopeless basically but they have this idea that i don't trust what most people say and b i guess they do their homework. they are very meticulous students so they are strategists of not just saving the particular war but a vision. petraeus headed vision of something called counterinsurgency and you know better better than i do that transcended even iraq. we would be in a time and space the 21st century where we had to have a different tactic. ridgway was an author of this very radical doctrine. it's not radical now but believe me after 1936 people said we don't need a marine corps. we don't need carriers anymore. there will be no more conventional weapons because it will automatically induce a nuclear response. it may be messy and 30 and we had better get a -- despite common as some of the places
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that we confront it. that was heresy at the time. especially this idea from sherman that i'm going to attack the plantations and attack the confederacy. these are the the 3% to cause te war and it makes no moral sense to me to kill the 97% who don't own slaves in northern virginia. i can go deep into virginia and humiliate this honor society. machiavelli said people will forgive you if you forgive their father but not if you destroy their patrimony. themistocles with seapower imperialism and powering the poor. i guess they were revolutionaries and beyond that sense. they were very well spoken and if you read shermans written communications and david petraeus headed thd in the same thing with matthew ridgway. they were not just auto didactic but often formal students in a serious manner very erudite people and they spoke well and
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wrote well and they didn't trust hearsay. if somebody told david petraeus this is how it is in iraq. he didn't trust that. he made sure that they double checked triple checked and quadruple checked. they were empirical. i think that's a very important to rate and constitutional society that is subject to 51% of the people governing on any given day in public opinion. >> host: when you continue to think about these great savior generals and the characteristics they have, is this not the genius? are they not the same traits that were required of or experienced in brilliant general such as alexander the great or julius caesar or hannibal or napoleon?
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>> guest: i think they are different type of generals than hamilton or napoleon or even wellington. i'm not suggesting they look at a particular battle and see a larger theater. at that they'd are they see larger statistic situation and they have a political ambition. they are much in our. they are saying i have a particular group of skill sets and it particular problem. this problem is as holy fundamental for my society to be resolved resolved in a favor when have given up as most people have deep beliefs. they simply respond to winners. if people are winning there for the war and if people are losing there against and that clouds people's judgment that i'm going to look at this and zero in on it and look at the situation empirically and use my speaking and writing ability and my leadership qualities to turn this thing around. they look at a very empirically and they say if i matthew ridgway and the chinese came 400 miles all the way down to seoul and were panicking we went
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400 miles to china and we got in trouble. so why if they going to be in trouble? ridgway is saying we went too far and too close to the chinese border and they are in the same situation we are going to do to them what they did to us. so they're kind of immune from these but i don't think they are strategic thinkers necessary. if you ask ridgway would you want to go after korea or how does korea say west berlin or if he said to david petraeus will this vision you have iraq be replicated in afghanistan or so something we can do in syria? may be somewhat. they have these doctrines that people can build on but they don't think they're necessarily interested in a sustained military career of the type of ulysses s. grant or george patton or something like that. >> host: it's interesting that you should mention grant because one of the things i really want
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to ask you is why sherman and not grant? >> guest: i will be controversial here. after vicksburg and gettysburg everybody thought the north was going to win six-month later. they one in the west and defeated robert e. lee at the height of his powers and then the war drags on. so they bring grant to the willard hotel in washington in march of 1864 and he has this grand vision. i'm going to go to richmond and my most brilliant subordinate has taken over the west. two prongs i will take richmond he will take atlantic and maybe in a month or so. then the unexpected happened. richmond is close to washington and atlantis a lot lung are from tennessee. richmond has good transportation roads. atlantis and the so-called wilderness of the georgia pine woods.
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grant gets near richmond but then we have these names that even today make a shutter cold harbor, wilderness, spotsylvania , petersburg. if you look at the army that leads in may of 1864 and september almost 80% were killed wounded or missing and the reputation of grant has changed. mary todd lincoln is calling him butcher, a murder. you get the impression that although that's a much more difficult task that he has done something that is not politically sustainable so suddenly you have john c. fremont on the left and he says lincoln should not be nominated. except for "the new york times" perhaps all of the newspapers turn on lincoln. he asks for resignation of his cabinet. general mcclellan comes back on the scene as the candidate on
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the democratic side and he he says i wanted antietam. i got closer to richmond that grant ever did and i lost fewer than grant did. you said i was an butcher compared to what grant was doing sherman says to himself like that to get it linda -- to atlanta and do it by not losing the west. i can't suffer the casualties grant has taken while they are criticizing sherman, he is outflanking people. except for one or two mistakes he takes atlanta on september 7 and sends a telegram atlanta is ours. we fairly won. everything is turned topsy-turvy. mcclellan does disgrace and call the. he wanted to allow the south to have slavery. he is the man of the hour. lincoln is about to be reelected then he does a very interesting thing. when people are calling grant a butcher or sherman basically
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says no, this was planned all along. he was going to go directly and wear down the confederates they are not antithetical. they are synonymous. they are complementary. what i'm getting at is that grant did not have sherman i think they would have lost the election of 1864 and i think we would have had to negotiate the settlement. by saving the election for lincoln he saved a nation in the way that weather was fair or not grant had almost lost it with this bloodbath in that terrible summer. they both had thought in shiloh in 1862 and they both got very different lessons from it. sherman was surprised when he looked at shiloh in the bloodbath. more people killed than all the battles americans had fought and
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he said i'm never going to fight something like this again. grant said we are going to do ring people across the tennessee river. the next day we will outnumber them. we have better organizations and better supplies and was true, that they did. his lesson from shiloh was the union has more manpower and you have to find the enemy, find them target them and crush them. after shiloh granted that direction and sherman took it in another direction. i think in this particular case sherman fought like grants did and had it right straight fordlandia in a series of frontal battles. we would not have had a union like we did today. >> host: one of the things that some of these generals including sherman and grant and truly general petraeus having common is a willingness not to
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give up as you said in the face of the common or popular perception that things are lost. how is it that that i'm a tenacity is cultivated by people who have such broad education compact who have such military experience, that who encounter such awful things on the battlefield? >> guest: it's hard to know whether it's just part of their genetic makeup. one of the things i noticed on the two occasions i went to iraq and talk to general petraeus wants but i just watched and i looked at what is average day was. i said to myself at the time that's not sustainable. the man is only sleeping three or four hours at night if that. later he had health issues. i thought no one has that
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tenacity and no one has that physical endurance but there was something about him that was unusual. getting up at 3:00 in the morning. if you read about matthew ridgway even though he was in the 50's -- in his 50's he did the same thing. if you look at belisarius what he had to do on the eastern front and themistocles. physically they are like some politicians. they are impervious to a of sleep. they are in excellent physical condition but they also have a sense that i paid my dues. i was in the shadows. i didn't get what i deserve. i think david portrays by any fair measure should've been supreme court manned or. the surge was necessary that but it could have, year or two earlier if there have been justice in the world in the same thing was true of sherman. i think although he was elevated very rapidly after shiloh he was not given a fair chance prior to
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that partly because of his own psychological problems. i think they get this idea that i have one chance and only one chance and i'm here in a way that doesn't make quite sense. ridgeway never thought he would be given a chance but i've waited my whole life for it. i am in better shape and better educated and you watch what i'm going to do. time becomes secondary and they are in hyperspeed warped speed and for a brief moment i don't think it's sustainable. they're the man of the hour and the moment passes and they say the situation and let the diplomats and joint chiefs or the general staff deal with their victory in a way that these are either stupid or smart. >> host: so, as you take a look at that kind of extraordinary status, no i mean
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really extraordinary change of fortunes for political leadership as well as for a military force, what do the savior generals do to help their military actually achieve their vision and to turn the tide in a way that they think can be done? >> guest: across time and space their zakat nudity. there's a paradigm in one of the first things they do is they feel that the generals are separated from their soldiers. ridgeway is called old iron -- if i can say that. he gets in the friend and he says i want winter uniforms. i want any journal that is not willing to be up at the front go come belief and restores the morale of the soldiers. petraeus to the same thing.
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he was out all the time with his soldiers. they called sherman uncle billy and there were many anecdotes that when people saw sherman they didn't believe he was the commander of the army. he was sort around a guy. they were at the front and they cared about the daily needs. that is why people immediately in terms of endearment called sherman uncle billy. that name was earned in georgia. that was one thing. the second is they had to remind people why they were there because when we say savior generals we mean lost wars in unpopular wars, wars that are not clearly defined. sherman said whether you like it or not you got to go down and these people asked for the war. i'm going to make war synonymous and make georgia -- and people were on almost defined mission. whether you agree to that or not they thought they would go and
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destroy the plantation class. people in korea didn't know. it was the first time we had really won a war. the first mage or engagement that congress had they been authorized. the u.n. authorized it. we haven't seen that since libya. they were confused. the congress doesn't say that this is the war and the u.n. says what's going on? the present of the united states has the ability to authorize this war. i'm here internationally because the u.n. approved it. i'm in a coalition. i'm here morally because we give our word to the south korean people. you have a constitutional system and i am here morally and that the eighth to stop, godless-ism. if we stop it here they won't take berlin and going to western europe. that really galvanize people. when you add it together hears the man you can see every day with us sharing the same risks. here's amanda thinks he can win. win. his demand that tells us why we can win. here's a man that cares enough
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about us to make sure we are closed well and well fed and he gets people around him. that's another thing that i try to emphasize. i don't nor they came from but i don't think we ever seen colonels that davis put -- david portrays assembled around him people like colonel macfarland or colonel mcmaster. they are 20 of them in the same thing with ridgeway. he brought in at group of people who said we can win a conventional war and sherman had a wonderful staff much better than grants. i think those are the leadership qualities at what we kind of forget about because of high-tech now. we are in a therapeutic agent sociology and we think these leadership quality apps -- qualities or the drone
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technology makes them obsolete. i'm a little worried and perhaps you know more about it than i do but it seems to me for the most dynamic 19th century generals that we have had in the last 30 years general mantis general petraeus general alan or general mcchrystal are not thriving within bureaucracy. they are not now using their military context. they either say something that is injurious but whatever it is we didn't maintain the use of their talents at the time when we really needed them. that scares me because i think there has to be military and the 21st century for eccentricity or contrarianism. >> host: tell me a little bit more about how that kind of independence of thought and
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determination was cultivated in some of these men's careers. certainly i've had the privilege of working with general petraeus and have seen him do as he said both give a clear vision presented a clear idea of what it is that he believes needs to be accomplished and how to do it but also a vision of independence and that independence of thought is something that should be tolerated within a military force. >> guest: all of us at some point in our careers find that we hit a brick wall and we encourage al asiri people are out to get us whether true or not and it depends on how we react to that trade one of the
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most common, the majority reacts by let me in mend fences and do the necessary steps equally as atonement is let me get back into the bureaucracy but all of these people, sherman had a complete mental breakdown and his wife saved him by writing letters. he was given a shot again at shiloh was his recovery moment. even though he had been a world war ii hero, the three gavest gratis -- what i'm getting at is all these people whether themistocles are belisarius at some point was that across core people did not write them. i don't know why david petraeus just when we needed him was brought to kansas and he worked on the quite manual. we could've made the argument that we needed him there. there were people who are suspicious of him there and yet he reacted in a different way. he bided his time. he thought if i'm going to be back in the united states and why to use this time to assemble a group formulate my thoughts because when i go back, don't
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think he ever thought he wouldn't go back. ridgeway was deputy chief of staff of the army and after laura's world war ii he is in shunt aside. he was writing memos on how to fight a war in a place like korea and timely people said bring that guy over here who has used crazy ideas fighting in a nonnuclear fashion in places like korea. have you ever been to korea? i have never been to korea. then go and he did. sherman said i have an idea of making total war on the infrastructure the enemy and a class society. horsemen and cavaliers. i can humiliate the southern aristocracy in a way that's going to be very injurious to their cause. they have an idea and i don't know if it's narcissistic or arrogant that they feel they are transcending the situation and
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they will get their shop but only one shot, the one window of opportunity and they meet the most of it. >> host: as we think about studying save your generals and reading about them i think it's important to ask why a study generals and generalship? >> guest: that's a very good question. we have two different views of human nature that i call the tragic and the -- tragic since human nature is set increased diet or brain chemistry or psychotropic drugs that can change or way of thinking are very minor to the very fact that we are what we were 25 years ago. there is such a thing as victory and defeat and there is such a as deterrence and alliance. the other up of people who believe with greater education and greater sensitivity and health care the can change the nature of man.
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i think the latter view whether the league of nations or the united nations these utopian attempts throughout history to say we have created a new soviet man and italian fascist man a national socialist man a european union man but now he is immune from these pressures and appetites of the past and were has to be redefined or can be outlawed. 200 something peace and conflict resolution programs but i don't think there's any record of success. we study the past because he keeps telling us there is a small number of people that are absolutely no good and when they get into positions of power they will take things that are not logical. you can explain to them that it's not in her interest to take that piece of land because sometimes it's on or fear or self-interest. as for has said to -- fighting
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over eight home. you would like to tell the japanese that they are worthless and rocky. no comp that they are as valuable as the piece of danzig is for hitler. he didn't need it but he surely needed it for matters of press teens and emotion. they are only prevented by deterrence via alliances in the balance of power and by convincing somebody not to do that because you will pay a high price. the generals who see that and the methodologies of defeating humiliating and rehabilitating an enemy are timeless. history offers us a think a more salutary helpful anecdote to modernism ben does the social science. >> host: so, that tells me a little bit about why we study
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history because it is in the nature of human beings and of states to fight but why study generals rather than other people on the battlefield? >> guest: i have written a lot about the average, what it was like in the ancient world how culture determines the way people fight or not fight. the fact of the matter is as i get older understand the mind of one person can get a lot of people killed and a lot of people say. if you're alexander the great and you are outnumbered five to one you will have a force to be affected. fewer macedonian lord you will win that battle. if your persian and have five to 10 times more you will be killed that day because someone in your site doesn't have the mind of alexander the great. there are a lot of iraqis alive
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today because of david petraeus. had he not been their weather was personality or his education and his intelligence his intellect can't do take david petraeus out of the equation and i don't think the colonel -- i know they're people like yourself and others who say he was responsible to be there but take matthew ridgway -- matthew ridgway out of the equation we would have lost. in these particular occasions the planets line up for perfect storm of situations but one rare man can get a lot of people killed or a lot of people save. >> host: leadership becomes important because human beings respond to other human beings. ." >> guest: they make people think they can do things that they can't otherwise do and i think that's important. >> host: when we study generals and think act of the 19th century studies of the
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great captains of the early 20th century studies, very often you can let the people who wrote oaks like that and say they are engaged in hero worship trade how did you avoid doing that? ..
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if you look at his appointments prior to that, he got very astute appointments that emphasized armorer tillery, although he was good at all of that. when david petraeus was in the room, everyone knew that he was the smartest and he knew that he was. that created a lot of jealousy as well. i think that he thought if you just let me come in queen of the mass, we don't say that explicitly, but ridgway is saying that everyone all screwed up and i'm going to go here and give united states a second chance when he took that position, it's either that petraeus cleans up the mess or
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they get border security and it's just going to be a losing score. you didn't cause a problem but if you don't say this, it is down to the pulp and it is a defeat. >> host: they have these traits, they have these great things that can only appear in a dire situation that needs saving. so what are your thoughts and how to avoid getting to such masses in the first place? >> yes, how do we pave the way for talking about matthew ridgway or david petraeus. people are talking about should we preempt iran. what will happen in china or vice versa. i think in a constitutional society that is predicated on 51% of what the people want,
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whether it's the mid term elections or the media, it is very in common for them to tell people that if you sign up or if you want to go into vietnam, these are the things that can happen. we think that there is a moral cause and whoever wins will have ups and downs. things will happen that we did not participate. if you prepare the public and we don't have to win every battle and victory will go to the people with the greatest morale and conviction in cause, i it's very essential that what happens so often is that we are going to go in there and do this and the oils going to pay for her we are done with a racket iraq in three weeks. the taliban is gone.
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but those critical moments we need leaders to come and say that this is the beginning and not the end. because if you look at what lincoln had said or what churchill said or what fdr said, they were always trying to prep the public like they were in a condescending fashion, almost like they could turn on us at any moment. so i am going to prepare myself and then not to get too exuberant, the great leader of all time, he said he was a genius at leadership. the athenians got very excited and he knew how to calm them down. he knew how to say that it's not over until it is over. >> host: when you wrestle with that kind of crisis, you focus a
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lot on public opinion as being a center of gravity for success. it raises a question for me that occurred to me while i was reading the book. which is a success fundamentally resting with the world? >> it is. if we had this conversation in june of 1940, if we had this conversation in 1945 in march, we couldn't find a german that was for hitler. hitler was even more devious. but the reason was the sense of success is not bear and the same thing was true in the civil war. he was a hero in july of 1863
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and a goat in july of 1864. he did not change. but what happened is that we and the people are ideological or they have deep-seated opinions and i think as i get older. about 20% of the people. most people want to distance themselves victory has all of these parents and defeatism and i think people have to understand that. one of the things i very much appreciate is watching him in action. he is the only one that could appreciate us. the same thing with ridgway. david petraeus never got a situation that i have to protect him from the likes of this or i shouldn't have to go in front of a senate committee and be called with a suspension of disbelief that i'm a liar or put up with general petraeus.
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his attitude was basically, as i understood it, these things happen inu society because a battlefield is not doing well. and people always jump in and try to distance themselves. but if i change the battlefield, they are going to say it may be worth it after all. they won't have any more general petraeus and they're worn. and they ought to be mature enough not to be vindictive. they probably do privately. but that was once the trace was so brilliant that people thought that he along with ryan crocker could not pigeonhole them even though they had been appointed by bush. the same thing was true with ridgway. they just said most people will not do what i will do and most people would not take this job and most people don't care about korea.
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it just wants to feel good about winning and they do not feel good about losing. and that is my job to ensure that we win and we don't lose. but we don't have a lot of confidence in that sense. >> host: critique these general spirit you have given us lessons about how these individuals have become to be in the circumstances that they are. the reason of character and history that helped them. not only were they not perfect human beings, but because they won't necessarily perfect generals. so how do you critique them in a military sense, a few of these extraordinary exemplars? >> well, they have gone up and
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have not really done well. there were certain things that they were not good at and one was conducting an infantry battle or leading the joint command. very weak as far as alliances were concerned. he was lucky that they were able to defer to him and that was not a sustainable. he was the antithesis of dwight eisenhower. that is why he disappeared and he did not figure at all. that was such a drawback. i think in some sense they were very naïve and when there was dissension about the emperor, there was a position where they wanted you to take over, it's going to die, you can do all these wonderful things politically and domestically and
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he was loyal to his emperor. so he put himself into a formidable position. he didn't realize that victory causes to powerful human motions. so he was not even a political sense to an extreme sense. sherman is sherman. he did not understand the role of the media. he said things that would be reported in a way to david petraeus never would have. it would only create problems with him politically he understood that he was part of it he didn't quite understand
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that the joint chiefs were superiors and therefore a reason and would make him one of them. in other words that he was a sober and judicious and dwight eisenhower. when there were certain areas like stopping the 58th parallel. the question of how do you fight a conventional war, he thought that he could appeal to reason or merits of argument rather than political instinct or desirability to be like. he didn't care about being right or whether he had a career afterwards. he was alienated from american
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discourse because of critical issues on that. david petraeus i think thought that he could navigate through this impossible political situation with the democratic senate on one hand and bush at 32% and he was going to be such an upright and honest guy that everyone would honor him and he did that very successfully. but i think that that explains why he took a very unenviable task in afghanistan and was able to trade positions. he came back to the cia. but if you look at it from the historical point of view you confute ever larger portions that were politics about the political resonance of david petraeus that we're going to conspire in a way that i'm not sure that he either appreciated or that he wanted to appreciate. but i'm not sure that his -- i think at some point, all of these people up to their moment,
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they are not sure how these kinds of fame and attention and how they interact. that is one reason i do not believe that they do well. >> i think the concept is extraordinarily interesting. i really enjoyed reading the book. you betray such phenomenal characters. you really force us to think about history and the brief moments that we have left, can you tell us what is next? >> i am starting a book called the end of all things. there are thousands of wars since the beginning of civilization. but why is there not a first and second. we'll get them to say that that is enough. like we are going to defeat them or obliterate them. we are going to burn down the
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cities in japan. the frightening concepts that i am looking at that explains how it evolves to something beyond us is all these residents i am looking at war as the next essential end of all things. >> host: thank you for your interesting book, "the savior generals: how five commanders saved wars that were lost - from ancient greece to iraq." >> guest: thank you for having me. >> during chuck hagel's news conference on monday, he was asked about the situation in egypt. you can see the entire event online at here is some of what he said. >> i am not aware of it. i cannot help it.
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saudi arabia, as you know, we announced a couple weeks ago that they committed considerable amount of systems to egypt. this specifics of your question, i do not know about that. your question regarding cancellation of apache helicopters -- we are considering all respects our relationship. >> we are bringing an end to that in egypt right now. and in particular, if they are not cooperating.
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>> but more to the point. we have serious interest in egypt and in that part of the world. this is a very complicated we are facilitating a reconciliation and balance. it will be their responsibility.
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i do not think that the united states is about influence. but that has to be a collaborative effort focused on what the egyptian people want we believe that secretary says that that should come, the deputy secretary state burns, that should come as an open democratic process of allowing people to have a role in the future of their country. thank you. >> the cato institute is hosting a forum on the cost of social security disability insurance. our live coverage is at noon eastern on c-span. our programs continue with
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author john geoghegan on his book tran-nine about japan's plans to use the submarines to attack new york city and washington dc. this is 45 minutes. >> we welcome john geoghegan. author of "operation storm: japan's top secret submarines and its plan to change the course of world war ii". >> that is correct, that is admiral yamamoto. the commander in chief of the imperial japanese navy's combined fleets. admiral yamamoto was a fascinating guy. he lived in the united states twice during his naval career and spoke pretty good english.
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>> could you elevate your microphone slightly, please. >> sure. >> is that better? >> this way? >> okay. >> as i said, he attended harvard briefly. he even read life magazine and he had a pretty good understanding of america and he knew what japan was getting into when they declared war against the united states. and as he told the prime minister at the time, he says that i can guarantee a tough fight for the first six months. but i have no confidence is what will happen after that. and it's important to understand that he was a gambler. he loves to play games of chance. he played earlier, roulette, bridge, deshong, it almost did not matter what the game was as
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long as it had a gambling component. in fact, he often threatened to resign from the japanese navy to become a full-time professional gambler and that is how good he was. though i don't think that they took his threats seriously, it's important to understand that his love of gambling really affected his military strategy in his strategic thinking. and that is why he has such a mixed record as a naval tactician. when he was a young individual serving aboard a naval flagship during the japanese and russian war, his gun blew up and eat at all yamamoto was injured by the explosion. if you look at this photograph here, you can see the scars peppering his face from the shrapnel. now, he was pretty self
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conscience, which is one reason why they were often airbrushed out of his official photographs. he also lost two fingers on his left hand in the explosion. he lost his index finger and his middle finger. now, the price of a manicure in japan at the time, the geisha that he loved to hang out with teasingly nicknamed him because they felt that a man who only have eight fingers did not deserve to pay for a full price of a manicure. he thought that this was extremely funny and this is something that i like about him. because usually don't associate humor with a commander the commander in chief. but as you know his most famous attack was on pearl harbor and it was hugely innovated, which many people do not realize.
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the philosophy included the decisive naval battle. you were supposed to go out and find your enemy's fleet far out at sea and destroy them. it was the first time that so many aircraft had ever been launched from the city to attack the navy's fleet and its own homeport. if the attack shows, and yamamoto could be a very daring and unconventionaltk. >> that is why he gathered a naval officer to discuss what could the imperial japanese navy do as a follow-up to pearl harbor thereby allowing japan to
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keep these territories. his follow up approach was characteristically audacious. as i said, he was a daring and unconventional thinker. he knew that he would never slip it past the americans, so what he did was decide to build 18 gigantic submarines designed to attack the united states. i'm not talking about another attack against the hawaiian islands. i'm talking about mainland americans. that is something that had not occurred since the war of 1812. these subs, as they were called,
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they were a pretty remarkable achievement for their day, far bigger than any simmering that had ever been built up until then. and in fact they were so vague that we initially mistook them for surface ships. just to give you an idea, that is the one at the top. that is the squadron flagship over 400 feet long. that is longer than a football field. it is a sales structure which is the section here on top. it is three stories tall. and as you can see here, the
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e401 is intended to hunt submarines. given that the e401 subs could travel one and a half times around the world without a human. they also incorporated some of the stealth technologies. in this was indented 3 feet at the base to reflect this back into the sea. and each one was a special coating to dampen the waves and the thing is that they were underwater aircraft carriers. and each sub carried three
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attack planes but they launched by catapult and it could surface and assemble three of these planes and under 30 minutes so the japanese were not the first to experiment with the airplane carrying submarines. great britain, the united states, france, even italy all experimented with mixed results. and japan was the only nation to perfect.and deploy them widely in their navy. in fact, there were 11 plane carrying submarines surrounding oahu on december 7, 1941 and they had three times that number in the construction pipeline and this was a strategic technology that they very much believe in. and this is the only known photograph of one of the subs.
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if you look carefully at his right here on the bow, getting ready to be launched. historians often dismiss these as white elfin technology. but japan had the ability to extend the sweet to scout out our navy. some set relatively low in the water and you can only see six or 7 miles towards the horizon. that limits their scouting ability particularly in the days before the they have radar so the better and sooner they would be able to destroy our fleet before it reached japan.
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so it wasn't their size and it really wasn't the fact that they were underwater aircraft carriers. but it was the audacious thing that yamamoto dreamed up for them. he built the subs because he wanted to change the course of world war ii. in the way that he intended to do that was to send these subs more than halfway around the world and service them off the east coast of america and launch their planes into a surprise aerial attack against new york city and washington dc. clearly he was thinking big. you would expect this of a daring and unconventional thinker. but he knew that the 44 aircraft would not be enough to destroy two of america's biggest cities. but he did believe that the psychological blow of the attack would be enough to force the
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united states to the negotiation table and to sue for an early piece. doolittle only filled and 16 bombers over tokyo. he was -- and yamamoto yamamoto was talking about 44 bombers. so it was a magnitude greater. okay, so one of the remarkable things about these subs is that they marked the first time they had launched an offensive attack against any enemy. up until 1945, used for either scouting or to sink ships. nobody dreamed that a submarine could be used to attack a city. that is one reason why these submarines were so revolutionary and also why they are relevant today. aside from being an amazing story, they are the historical predecessor of the u.s. regular
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missile carrying subs from the 1950s, which is shown here. it surfaced just like the e401 and they launched a nuclear missile with these subs. so in other words, a regular missile carrying subs are the direct descendents of these subs. so there is also no denying that these e401 foreshadowed today's ballistic missile carrying submarines. the boomers. the boomers mission is to destroy the land-based targets, including cities. so the story is an surmounting incredible obstacles in the final days of the war and the legacy is really still very much alive with us today.
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this is one of the planes that they launched and as i mentioned, it is an attack plane and one of the most technologically sophisticated aircraft ever built by the navy during world war ii. they were nicknamed storm from a clear sky because that is exactly how they intended it to appear over new york city and washington dc. they could be torpedo bombers, dive bombers, they could drop conventional bombs. one of the versatile qualities that they had was that the tail stabilizer could fold up so that the plane made a small enough package that it could fit in a decade or that was 11 feet 6 inches in diameter. and this is not small. if a man is standing next to this in a photograph, his head would just about reached the top
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of that bottom pontoon. so these were pretty large for aircraft. okay. but perhaps the most shocking aspect of these aircraft is that they were painted to look like military aircraft. and this was done to make it easier for them to slip past their defenses. the japanese believed that by disguising these planes they would be able to buy them enough time to reach their targets before they were discovered. so all in all it is a hollywood type mission. >> yes, this is the deck hanger. so they all sat on trolleys and the trolleys were lowered so
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that the plane could back in. the minute they came out, they raised the trolleys so that the nose of the plane was lifted. okay. so this gentleman was a squadron commander and part of the aircraft. he was a descendent from the samurai and he came from a good family. he attended the naval academy and he also attended the elite naval war college. he spent his career involved with submarines as a staff officer or line officer. he was a patriot, he was a warrior. he was certainly a hard-core military person and as a result of his a pretty nasty piece of work so you can't really tell
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from this photograph, but he had straight hair. skin that more than one described as whaley, skin that had an oily sheen. i came across that at several times the people i interviewed. so he's definitely the villain of our peace. he was a martinet and a very heavy drinker and he did not hesitate to discipline his men by slapping or kicking them. one called him a gangster because of his ruthlessness and they use the term gangster in japanese pronounced similarly to the pronunciation of our work. they knew what a gangster wise. he believed that to to die on
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behalf of the emperor was glorious. and he knew that he would not hesitate to sacrifice them on behalf of the cause. so he was not having the word surrender in his vocabulary. so in other words, this guy is the boss from hell. so now this man was captain of the flagship. and he was in a relationship and a squadron commander who is also part of this. he was over 6 feet tall and he was rail thin. he was so handsome that his crew used a gossip behind his back. as you will see in the photograph he has quite a full mustache which was considered stylish in the day. the crew did not trust him and
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he knew that he had their best interests at heart. where as the other tended to command respect through fear and intimidation. i could see what his crew liked about him. i interviewed him. he is still alive today. i think he is about 101 years old at this point. very articulate and 70 years after the fact, a number of his former officers and crew sought me out to tell me that they felt that they owed me their lives the way that he conducted himself at the end of the war. the other thing was that he was one of the few sub captains to survive the war of the japanese navy and that's pretty remarkable considering that he served in plural harbor and he told me how he looked through his periscope waiting for ships
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to escape so he could sink them. it was also the executive officer just north of santa barbara in february of 1942. so this guy truly got around. i think he was in an award for something like 1800 days. that is a long time. so it's a miracle that he survived the war given the casualty rate of the submarine force and it's also a miracle that he survived in this way. what you may not know is that the subs were on their way to complete the mission when the war ended. when he accepted the allies in 1945, he was so outraged that he refused to tell the crew to
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surrender. and in fact he refused to surrender and instead he decided to go rogue and continue with the mission. this was an unprecedented situation, of course. nothing had prepared him for defeat or surrender. but the situation was about to get very bad. because these guys were breathing down their neck. we will get into that when we read from the book. but the encounter between these are the scene that i would like to read to you now from my book, operation storm. after i'm done, i will be glad to take a few questions. is everyone still with me? >> okay.
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this is chapter one, the face-off. i promise not to review the entire chapter. okay, the uss sodano was five days out of the way heading out of japan when the japanese government said they had accepted peace terms. as the submarine's executive officer noted in the fifth war patrol report, they heard the good word of the surrender in 11 languages. boston was second in command. nicknamed silent joe for his reticent manner, balsam is responsible for ensuring that the captain's orders were carried out in a correct and timely manner and he had been there before commissioning and had served in war patrols.
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he was a man of sly wit and few words. his ball cap and trade was an uncharacteristic display of emotion for this normally pragmatic officer he had been patrolling the islands when the cease-fire was announced. she had not seen much activity except for a few russian vessels and now it was august 24, 1945 and he was ordered to represent the u.s. submarine force at the upcoming surrender ceremony. the invitation was an honor for the crew, but they were not ready to relax just yet. they were still in enemy territory and though this agreed, but the japanese military were to lay down arms, some had not gotten the message. it was two weeks since the emperor asked them to endure the unendurable and he was heading
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to tokyo with the ones for minimal japanese fleet. not much was left and what was was not expected this far north. there was isolated resistance. the sabino had been aggressive despite the diminishing number of enemy targets. the first skipper had been assigned while she was still under construction at the navy yard in new hampshire. she put an indelible stamp while commanding her first patrol. during that time the merchants and it earned him a total of seven battle stars. these results were not surprising given the fact that he was an experienced sub captain that was tall and athletic and he radiated the
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kind of confidence that his men had come to respect. he was 34 years old, which was old for a sub captain and quiet by nature. but that only contributed to his command presence. he prosecuted this with just the right balance of aggressiveness and caution. his crew knew that he was somebody that they could count on to sink a ship and get them home safely. though he could be remote, that was not unusual. it was better for him to be distant and overly familiar since the lives depended on the crew's objectivity. in other words, the first ever had everything a cruel light crew liked in a sub captain and he was mature and study and also reliable. but all this changed before they departed on the fifth and final war patrol.
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some orders transferred him to pearl harbor and he enabled this and was due for rotation. but he turned that into a formal fighting machine. his departure was like depriving the crew of their father. unfortunately the lieutenant commander, mr. johnson, was a different breed of captain. he was younger and brash or cockiness that put his crew on edge. the first time he saw captain johnson at the midway, his new skipper was shooting dice with the man. johnson did not make a good impression. he acted more like a crew member than an officer. not the kind of captain that he was used to serving under. he also had concerns about the
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ceo. he heard johnson say that when we get off this patrol, they will be throwing medals that are hatched. was this the kind of guy that you could respect? he was not sure. the more they worried that he was a hollywood skipper. he may have had other capabilities, but he was lacking in gravitas. it almost seemed as if he was the 29-year-old johnson's first command it was his third grade that his officers would know not, it would have worried them all the more. lieutenant remained the executive officer and he recognized that the new captain was different and he was a smooth talker, highly polished and well dressed and even his nickname was slick, which was always not necessarily a
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compliment. but he had seen his share of sub captains and note two of them are alike. the sub force was 100% volunteer and he could always ask. the biggest issue that he faced was the tightknit crew. most of the men had been aboard since the commission 15 months earlier than they had been shaped by the command style. importantly, they have gotten out of some pretty tight spots. of course, captain johnson's presumed impetuosity with less of an issue now that the war was over. one the one thing that the men did not want to see was something stupid to happen. now that a cease-fire was in place, they didn't want any last-minute screwup sending him to the bottom. home was the preferred direction and in the meantime, anything could happen.
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n. was 15 minutes before it was 15 minutes before midnight on august 28, 1945 when lieutenant rod johnson relieved matt mclaughlin as officer of the deck. he is on the surface heading south towards tokyo and it was the 14th day of the cease-fire and not one had been sighted since the patrol began. it was a cool night and visibility was poor. but the ocean was calm and lieutenant johnson decided to take advantage of a little moonlight there was to scan the horizon. when he first spotted an object south, he thought that his eyes were playing tricks on him. but the more he looked, the more certain he became that something was out there. meanwhile, alex was sipping
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coffee when a blip appeared on his radar screen and he was surprised at how large the object was. something like that should have been picked up at 15,000 yards. yet it had not appeared until it was within a third of that distance. he shouted radar contact, 5500 yards. at first no one was sure what they were dealing with. no ships were reported in the area. there was no mistaking the blip, which was sizable and doing 15 knots. if it was american, fine. but if it was japanese, they had a problem. captain johnson flew into the tower demanding the targets range and were determined to take a closer look. when they closed within 3000 yards, the dark silhouette materialized into the shape of a
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gigantic submarine. the submarine was so big that it easily dwarf the soprano. since the allies had nothing remotely close in size, it had to be japanese. before they could declare battle stations, clearly they had been spotted. johnson scrambled his men at flank speed. the lieutenant was plotting the enemy's course as the chase ensued and he knew that fighting was still going on in the pacific. but he couldn't understand why a stubbled runway. after all, the war had been over for 14 days. nevertheless, the situation seemed dangerous as heck. as the chase extended, johnson pushed him to 20 knots. every time he drew near, he tried to pull away.
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so he tried to distance it at 4000 yards 30 also made sure that his torpedo tubes were loaded and ready the first one hour passed and then the number the crew began worrying. but then something unusual happened. johnson was not sure what she was up to, but the enemy suddenly began to slow. maybe she was getting into firing position. shortly after august 29, they cornered him to the bridge and it was the first patrol, the tough kid from the bronx whose accent was like a punch in the face. he was wide awake to the soprano
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bridge, rapidly flickering the international code. they failed to acknowledge the message even though it was impossible to misunderstand the meaning. she showed no signs of stopping. after a few minutes, she received an affirmative reply. as dawn illuminated the vote, johnson and his men were in for a big surprise. they were not facing a typical summary. it was, in fact, the largest submarine that the crew had ever seen. she thought she was huge, at least twice as big as the soprano. convinced that she was three times as large and they could've sworn that she will times bigger. but whatever her actual size was, the japanese sub loomed
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over the vote. johnson knew that they had stumbled over something unusual. but they didn't realize that they face the largest submarine in the world, one so huge that she would remain the largest until the uss triton was commissioned in 1959. johnson's men had every reason to feel small. it wasn't just the size that made for a spectacle. she also bristled with a 5.5-inch gun, three anti-aircraft guns and a single 25-millimeter mounts on the bridge, the japanese submarine was all business and there were eight torpedo tubes and two more that soprano had and it was reasonable to assume that she carried the deadliest torpedoes of the war. the type 95, the long ones that pack way more punch than the mark 1840 teams and had nearly
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three times the range and were faster to boot. if cats and johnson felt alone, he did not show it. he could never under estimate the defeat. the soprano was going to be in for trouble. to ensure that that didn't happen, he ordered his helmsman to slowly close the distance. by all rights they should surrender, but her decision to flee and reluctance to stop, especially after being chased suggested that they did not intend to get up give up easily. after all, she still flew with the red and white rays of the rising sun. one thing was for sure that nobody in the united states navy
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had ever seen a summary and likeness. it was the largest and most powerful submarine built during world war ii. she had been designed for admission so secretive that the u.s. military did not know anything about it. the mission that the architect had planned himself. a mission that the imperial japanese navy saw it as a way to change the course of the war in their favor. the captain did not appreciate just how reluctant they were. not only was it a top sequence squadron, but the flag ship that carried the commander to commander had been involved with the development almost from the beginning.
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and given her pedigree, it wasn't going to surrender without a fight. surrendering would be more than unacceptable. it would be an embarrassment and a disgrace. it went against all the training for the japanese navy. it wasn't over just yet the crew found themselves in the middle of what promised to be the last great shooting match of the pacific war. [applause] so before we do the questions i
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would like to acknowledge that one of the plank owners, someone who served on all of the patrol, the family was a chief petty officer in here tonight and three generations of that family have existed. i want to thank you for coming out. i want to thank you particularly for your father's support. we ask if you have questions that you come up to the microphone. otherwise you won't get on c-span tv, which is filmed in this and i won't be able to hear you because i am deaf as a post. westerns, please take them up to the microphone so i can hear you.
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here we go. it is excellent. >> i read the first quarter of the book and it is just a great book. i found it fascinating for those of us on the west coast here with your elaborate and detailed technology of exactly how people responded to the limited but highly effective attacks of the japanese submarines on the west coast. the reaction seems to me would lead one to believe that yamamoto's projection that this might have had the psychological impact and assaulted in what he
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anticipated and hoped for. so we have put about how we reacted and we hope that invalidates the very. >> thank you for that. few people realize that the west coast was lousy between the summer of 1941 all the way through september of 1942. they were sinking our coastal shipping. they actually did launch the first attack on the mainland since the war of 1812. and at the time there was a tremendous invasion and people did not quite understand what they were dealing with. they were not planning an invasion. but that part of the strategy was quite effective for the first six months up until about june of 1942.
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there are a number of merchant ships that were sunk off the coast of california from vancouver right down to san diego. as i have said, one individual that i interviewed for the book described what it was like to surface in the waters off of san diego and to be so close you could hear people talking on the shore. now, i remember when i was interviewing him for the book just to understand what was going on. when i asked him, he was telling me about this trip that he made to new york city and i just said that that's interesting, was that your first visit to the united states. and he says oh, no, i had been here before and i said when was the first time and that is when he said pearl harbor.
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>> i have not read the book yet. the mysterious if you included the bombing that occurred in oregon. the plane that took off from a submarine. i'm not sure whether it was brookings. >> right. in fact, i have a chapter in the book about that. he bonded and made two flights. this is another one of the things i start to do the research. why would the japanese want to bomb the redwood forest in california and oregon. of course all of the western accounts about that dismiss it. but when i start interviewing the japanese and i listen to what their logic was, they had quite a clever idea. which is a new that the forests
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are as typically tender drive. so they expected the dryness to be a force multiplier for these bombs have been dropped. and they may anticipate setting on fire a good part of northern california and southern oregon. what happened there, lucky for us is as it was the most unseasonably rainy september in 100 years. so they went off, but they did not have the effect that the japanese intended. the truth was they just got unlucky and we got tremendously lucky. >> pbs had a show a year or two ago. i think that they mentioned that yamamoto was a proponent of venice. and after he was killed in 1942,
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that the development of these submarines really slowed. when they were finally developed, it was solely the war that they really didn't have a chance to do much. >> you're talking about the documentary that aired on pbs. i was actually the producer and technical writer on that show that was based on an article that i had written. it's like any other bureaucracy. as far as pearl harbor goes, imperial japanese navy said it was a crazy thing they had ever seen. he said that he was the general staff and he said if you don't accept this claim i will resign. so we forces with pearl harbor. they succeeded and as far as
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they were concerned, tremendously. he could do whatever he wanted. when he came up with this idea of 18 gigantic underwater aircraft carriers, no one was going to stand in his way at that point. but there were factions who did not want this plan. they did not think -- they were very conservative and thought that this was just a bridge too far, so to speak. so once he died, they came out of the woodwork and almost at one point had it scaled back. so there was this tug-of-war just as there is in any bureaucracy. but they stayed with the plan right through the war even though there were so many men involved in the construction in the managing of these submarines. two or 3000 people involved. that is not a small operation. and at great cost they were
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committed right to the end. >> they had something in common as far as the date. i think that he was shot down in 43 on the same day. is that correct? >> just. >> thank you. >> our most recent exposure to that was the movie, emperor. i was wondering from your perspective is based on what you know of those personalities were more or less accurate.
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>> if what was accurate? >> the movie in terms of portrayal of the main personalities involved. >> what was the title again? >> i have not seen that movie. >> it was recently released him last month or two. >> okay, well that is one that is on my list to see. >> you know, it's funny. the way that american history was taught to me. the japanese were kind of monolithic and dramatic. and i got a different perspective when i went over there and had a chance to interview officers. one of the guys that i interviewed was a squadron leader and i thought that he was ready to get back and calm in, finish the job. but the rest of them, you know, they were quite logical and rational and it was a point of view that i had never in a million years encountered and i
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was fascinated to hear what their reasoning was and why did they think it was this way and why did they do what they did. and then they kept pointing out these crazy incidences and they made more sense than what i was ever taught. so i can give you read the book, you will find a part of it is the u.s. submariners talking about what the war was like and what it was like from their point of view. >> okay, i think we should stop. i want to thank you for coming out tonight. i will be signing books for anyone who wants me to sign them. i thank you so much. [applause] [applause] >> chuck hagel had a news conference on monday. he said that in an effort to build trust between the two countries, that he would visit china next year. can see the entire event online
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at here is some of what he had to say. >> i affirm the importance of maintaining open communication. and we agree that it's important to continue high-level visits, such as the nowhere, the visit of general dempsey in china this year. [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] >> general odierno and general welsh spoke earlier this week.
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they also offered to host a visit to the united states next year. [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] >> in our meeting, and the general invited me to visit china next year and i accepted. i look forward to seeing him again at the defense ministers meeting is part of my trip to southeast asia. [speaking in native tongue]
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[speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] >> i will also visit alicia and indonesia and the philippines on this trip. >> bookclub on booktv returns next month with these features. read the book and engage on her facebook page and on twitter. look for daily post starting september 3 to get the conversation going, including links to interviews with the author and reviews of the book and video from the booktv archives. >> up next i'm a discussion of the history of warfare. max boot discusses his book
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invisible armies. it begins with comment from the heritage foundation. >> good afternoon and welcome to the heritage foundation. we welcome those who are joining us on the website as we prepare to begin. please make sure that cell phones have been turned off. it is a courtesy that our speakers appreciate. hosting the event today is doctor pucci who is the center for foreign policy studies and he previously served as a senior research fellow for defense and he is well-versed in a special area of operations and
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cybersecurity areas as well as defense support to civil securities. he served for three decades as a special forces officer and pentagon official in july of 2001 he assumed the duties of secretary rumsfeld and work daily with him for the next five and a half years. then he continued as deputy secretary of defense. please join me in welcoming steve bucci. [applause] >> let me add my welcome to all of you. i think he will have a real treat this morning. as john has mentioned, i am a special forces officer by profession and this area is near and dear to my heart. i mentioned to max when he came
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in that when i was a cadet at west point i had bought a book that had just been published. it was called war in the shadows and that book from 1975 until now has really been a sort of benchmark for this kind of historical review of this subject area and that is a long time for a book to keep that sort of position. well, with apologies to the gentleman, i think his book is being replaced now and max has done that. with this book that is on sale outside, i think he has set a new benchmark in his book is very comprehensive. it is somewhat chronological but
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not entirely. and it is somewhat functional is not the right word but topical, but not entirely. that sounds like it is not organized well. i certainly don't want to give you that impression. max is a fine writer. i say that from the standpoint of a reader. it is very easy to read in a way that sometimes historical works cannot be read. i would recommend it highly and what we will do this morning is give some opening remarks for a little bit. then we will open it up to the questions and answers. then i will come back up and play moderator and i will tell you right now that when you ask a question i would like you to stand up and identify yourself briefly. by the end of the second sentence i don't hear a question mark, i will just ask you to sit
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down politely. because the object of this is for you to ask questions and draw from the knowledge of macs max and the information that he presents about the book and not to give a speech. so that is where we are going this morning. for those of you that do not know, max is one of the leading historians and military history and one of our best historical writers. he is presently a senior fellow at the council for foreign relations and writes extensively in "the weekly standard" and the "los angeles times" and he's a regular contributor to "the wall street journal" and he has been an editor and a journalist for "the wall street journal" and
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the christian science monitor and he has written two other major books that are of interest to me. the savage wars of peace, the rise of american power. also technology, warfare, and 1500 to today. he he writes really big books. this morning he will talk about his latest. so with that i will turn it over to you. [applause] >> take you very much, steve, for that warm and generous introduction. thank you also for your many decades of service and i see a lot of folks who are retired military and i think all of you for your years of service to the nation. what i am talking about is the context of my new book.
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.. the. >> the answer is a guerrilla
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warfare is as as old as mankind itself is hard to say when the first or to place because it is a tribal war is terrible war going back to the dawn of mankind staging ambushes, attacking enemy villages before the main force can arrive they don't stand toe to toe though way that we imagine with conventional armies. in essence trial lawyers taking part in guerrilla warfare in with conventional one -- were fair were recent inventions only made possible by the rise of the first city state in mesopotamia 5,000 years ago. by definition you could not have a conventional or made without a state to have
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officers a and enlisted ranks, a bureaucracy, the logistics that we associate with conventional armed forces if you have the for city-state's they were being attacked by the nomads from the highly of essentially the guerrillas and so frore the very start they would find their time fighting irregular warfare. that is one of the big takeaways with this six years of reading in the way we think about the entire subject is all messed up. we think somehow conventional warfare that the way you ought to fight is how the conventional armies slugging it out in the open but the reality is those zero is than the exception. think of the more modern world was the last conventional war that we saw? this is a hard question to
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the answer because it was the russian invasion of georgia in 2008. but yet all over the world people were dying in afghanistan or malty or syria or columbia there ravaged by a and unconventional warfare because this is normal we have to adjust our thinking 360 degrees with unconventional warfare and it is the dominant phase of warfare and always has been and always will be every great general even in antiquity was seen by the threat of unconventional warfare including the greatest army of all, the roman legion with a formidable force even when not led by russell crowe. [laughter] they bested every power in
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their neighborhood but rome was ultimately brought down in the fifth century ad but was bought for the downfall? role was much like the united states that it did not have great power rivals in not surrounded by great states other than the persian -- persian empire was surrounded by those labeled as barbarians. how did they fight? said they do not have organized militaries or the infrastructure of the roman legions they fought with a different style and ultimately they were successful. the fall of rome was precipitated by the invasion of europe by a fierce group of warriors known as the hunts there was a perception
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how the hunts fought in he said they're very quick in their operations exceeding speed and fond of surprising their enemies they reunite and again after having a loss of paul and the every status themselves always avoiding the intrench rick. now think about that description that sounds like guerrilla warfare to be and that is what the huns were practicing in my pushing the tribe is further west in good to the collapse of the greatest empire in antiquity. if there is a day the new under the sun they have been around longer than civilization itself in the fact u.s. army and marine corps in the french have to deal with today is
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unsurprising but i don't mean to suggest nothing has changed over the last 5,000 years but there have been significant changes. the biggest task to do with the power of public opinion and propaganda. this was demonstrated in the war of independence. they tend to think of battle -- battles like lexington and concord where they would slither on their bellies the way they're redcoats considered not to be gentlemanly these were no doubt effective tactics but steady in the american revolution is how it was decided not on the battlefield but in the house of parliament in england.
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when we read conventional accounts they usually -- usually conclude with the battle of yorktown which they surrounded 7,000 troops in no doubt this is a massive setback for the british war effort but even sarah during 7,000 trips to washington they still had 10,000 more troops in north america and they can summon 10,000 more from other parts of the empire if they decided to do so. but they were not able to do so because of the power of a new force in insurgent warfare only cleaned and '70s 76 the power of public opinion. if the founding fathers were battling the roman empire i can assure you no matter how many defeats would have come back in george washington and the founders would have
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been crucified quite literally. the fact this did not happen is a because of what happened in the institution the romans did not have to worry about after the rise of the empire that was the house of commons, parliament because in 17821 year after the battle of yorktown there was a close vote to discontinue offensive operations in north america. 234 / 214 but because the lord was the hard-line prime minister to prosecute the lost the vote and therefore he had to resign office and the waves were committed to a policy of conciliation with the american brothers and he took office and i would submit that is true we were the american revolution was one and that is the founding fathers were very well aware of and they tried very hard to influence
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public opinion not only in the american colonies but also great britain. when the fate of documents like thomas paid common-sense as much as anything these were propaganda weapons used against the british in they had their impact in the day wore down that resulted in the go to discontinue the vote in north america. that is something about the romans in the huns did not have to worry about the power of public opinion but now the rise of democracy that is a major force. but many others would seek to emulate including some as the insurgents with the
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propaganda and public opinion against us. all of these are important especially to of one of the great influential theorist of the guerrilla warfare that there ever was. they had a very different view to that as practiced by the nomadic warriors of old. in which he wrote sitting in a cave working it so intently he did not notice a fire from a candle was burning a hole in his sock in he emphasized that people are like water in the army is like fish to keep a close as possible relations and a guerrilla force had to be
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extremely cognizant to win the supo of the public upon whom it was operating in gave instructions to his soldiers to be courteous and polite to establish the tree ince the safe distance from houses this is not something the huns worried about thousands of years before their idea of public relations was killing as many as they could in as gruesome a fashion as they could but now understood in the new age you had to. and was incredibly influential ever since especially even more so with terrorist organizations because terrorism as the anarchist had said propaganda by the deed even more than guerrilla warfare think it is about selling a public relations point for a osama bin on in the most famous terrorist of our age went so far to say that the
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media war is $0.94 of waging jihad the emphasis was not on the battlefield but on the perception he could foster among his enemies. the very fact media and public opinion has become so incredibly important put a great power the united states the specially a great democratic power at a disadvantage. said you look at what has changed and as part of the book we did a day debate -- a database that is included as the appendix and what we found the with rate has gone up prior to 1945 the insurgents when about 20 percent of the war's been since 1945 they went about 40% so that rate is roughly doubled.
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what accounts for that? i say the power of public opinion in the ability of relatively weak groups to bring down strother adversaries so that is something they try to do sometimes successfully. but there is a danger we should not swing too far and should not underestimate the power of guerrillas or overestimate them either they're not invincible. there is a tendency in the post-world war two era to focus on a handful of successes to think they are than a foot tall superhuman so the figure that i cited even if they're winning 40 percent of the wars that
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means they're losing 60% and the reality is just as most start-ups are microsoft most don't become the viet cong or the chinese red army. to make that point i would refer you to one of the most famous insurgents of all time. che guevara that was once on every door mall in the world fuselages and because of the success to overthrow the batista regime in cuba in the '50s with an impressive campaign made possible by the fact that batista had no legitimacy of losses support of the entire society that is why castro with only a few hundred followers was able to overthrow the state by tens of thousands of soldiers with heavy armor. there were incredibly successful in cuba but when
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jake rivera tried to export the cuban revolution it did not work out so well. what he tried to do in 1966 he discovered in bolivia was not a country with an unpopular dictator that a popularly elected president. he did not have much success to change the nature bolivian politics because jay garrick had no legitimacy caveman as an outsider this argentinian who came as a key bin outsider they didn't even speak the languages of the local indians in fact, che best friend was his mule. [laughter] so no surprise by 1967 he was hunted down by the bolivian army rangers trained by u.s. army special forces in this is howard che
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wound up being pumped up by his enemies. even che guevara the icon the revolution could be defeated and killed. i don't think it is impossible to dp to any group you can do what you just have to have the right strategy but the question is there's many different approaches but they come down to either write call -- what i call scorched earth or counterinsurgency as hearts and pines. -- mind but pretended france and the 1950's would show which approach is more successful. but britain and france for each fighting counterinsurgencies in different colonies with different sides of the world. the french were fighting in
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algeria 1954 to 1862. then in 1948 through the '60s he adopted very different methods with the french exemplifying the scorched-earth approach in the population center. what is the scourge earth approach mean? if you want to find out one way is by printing the movie the battle of algiers but i would recommend to anybody because it is pretty accurate and it depicts what happened in 1957 when the french tried to break up the assurgent sell especially the european civilians they rounded up tens of thousands of muslim men and they sent
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them in for interrogation to find out what they knew. how does the process work? we know because of what happened to this gentleman. he was french and ran a republican newspaper and he was picked up by paratroopers from the tenth parachute division in 1957 and taken to the interrogation center. we all know about medieval instruments of torture like the i.r.a. made in order iraq but he would discover a modern instrument of torture which was a french slang for the hand cranked dynamo to clips attached to the appendages then you turn the crank and the faster you turn the board electricity comes out. so what happened?
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he was taken to the interrogation center by the paratroopers, stripped, put on a wooded board, is strapped with leather straps and initially the clips were attached to his year in his being there that he said the flash of lightning exploded next to my year of my heart was racing and i struggled screening but he did not give up the information. so then they took one of the clips off of his year and attached it to his penis and he wrote my body shook with nervous shocks getting stronger in intensity but this newspaper editor still did not give up the information the paratroopers were demanding so they try to off the table after beating him savagely with their fast they tied him to a board and subjected
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him which was french for their practice that we know as water boarding. he said i had a vision of drowning in a vision of death itself then he was dragged to still they get thrown into a cell on the mattress stuffed with barbwire and left listening to the screams resonating throughout the interrogation center. that is a very tough approach to doing counterinsurgency. sometimes we hear don't believe it. however morally questionable it may be a kiam be tactically effective and it was. it was for nine months they manage to get the insurgent leaders to rat each other out in draft up the entire
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network and by the end of the 1957 algiers was saves a you could argue in a tactical sense the french had won the battle with the problem was by the publicity that attended their practices if they could not keep secret the way they retreating detainee's a and for some reason he was allowed to live and he wrote a book called the question and there were others that spilled the beans and that caused a huge public backlash not only in france but around the world it cost it the algerian war so the scorched earth tactics backfired and led to the eventual defeat of algeria but on the other side of the
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world the british were fighting their own counter insurgency in malaysia ended the war effort there was led by this man general templar who should not be to use with this man with the after the he was a dead ringer. [laughter] this man was the british commander in malaysia and when he arrived in 1952 he founded deeply entrenched insurgency path and the one in malaysia was waged by the liberation army would of been a communist groups trying to take over in the postwar period. the even killed the previous high commissioner in fact, he drove from the airport in which his predecessor was shot to death a few months before. that must've been a chilling experience.
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it would be very understandable if the general resorted to a savagery to terrorize the population into acquiescence with that is not what he did. we interested the key to success was not terrorizing the population but securing the population and he went about a variety of ways. one of the most effective programs was setting up new villages because he understood the heart, and that tiny squatters who were not citizens of a layup but were all passed with no real jobs they were the prime breeding ground for insurgencies so he relocated them to these new villages to have fields to work, medical clinics to schools and by the way they would also have fences and armed guards to keep them away from the insurgents said he was driving up the
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sea in preventing that chinese waters to support the insurgency for ralph he also set off aircraft to go over the area to drop leaflets and to urge their surrender also loudspeaker's he quipped to the aircraft so they could call out individual insurgents by name to call them now. a spooky tactic also lee said dave the large formations as the u.s. armed forces with two in vietnam but he emphasized the gathering of intelligence putting the emphasis on expanding actionable intelligence sending trade units with knowledge it imported head hunters from borneo butultimately it all
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came back to the population. he said the shooting site of the business is only 25 percent of the troubled years 75% rise to get the people behind us. he also said the answer lies not to put more troops to the juggles the in the hearts and minds of the people. that is a very famous phrase that is iconic and often misunderstood by hearts and minds he did not mean we would hear about a lot of goodies to the people but control the people and that requires establishing security for the people but also having some legitimacy to make the people acquiesce. the most harmful weapon in his arsenal was independence from malaysia because he said if you help us to beat the communist insurgency we will make you an independent
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nation. this is what he did. the french did not understand this because they try to fight for the continuation of the french colonial empire. not surprisingly there was not a lot of algerians eager to fight. the french today get it he interested the importance of legitimacy that is something that has proven crucially important in recent years such as we see that of the playbook to combine legitimacy to blunt the appeal of insurgents. this is not just of historical interest because in fact,, just as insurgency has always been the dominant form of warfare it remains
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so today as the attack of the consulate of benghazi should remind us this is not a threat going away despite the death of osama bin lauded that actually could get worse because one of the major trends here is the fire power has been increasing. one century ago western armies battled insurgents who had bet the more than if you must you muskets but now the inhabited does not have access to explosives or the are pg very hard to deal with even though their basic infantry weapons and fortunately it that they get their hands on weapons of mass destruction in reid may not have george clooney around to save us.
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not to be overly alarmist but what would happen if they did get their hands on a weapon of mass destruction? this is a map that comes from a magazine called the international journal of health and geographics and to what happened of a 20-kiloton nuclear device would go off in downtown hunt -- manhattan that is not very big about the same size that flattened nagasaki and that was a long time ago the arsenal is full of men the nuclear ones bigger than this but this would not be hard for others to design so what would happen if it was popped off so the certain
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assumptions of what the devastation would be and of course, is slowly gets better but the estimates is a relatively small nuclear device would injured 1.6 million in killed 600,000 then you also see devastation but from washington. i don't mean to alarm anybody that they're not going away as the program accelerates these are very real possibilities we have to think very hard about. rome was brought down by a by variants we have to make sure we are not brought down by a the pipe -- barbarians.
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that is what i tried to contribute with this book to show the strategies' the insurgents had employed over the centuries. . . >> okay, ladies and gentlemen. we will now take questions. please raise your hand at as i acknowledge


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